Wednesday, October 23, 2013

St. Michael the Archangel Costume for Catholic Boys

A shield, halo, and cross to be added.

Our two boys are always outnumbered by the girls and their flurry of 'princessy' dress-up clothes and accessories. Preparation for a faith-filled celebration of All Hallows Eve was the perfect opportunity to make this right. Five year old Simon decided to dress as St. Michael the Archangel. He has a real affinity for the warrior angel and often asks to say the prayer throughout the day. I looked around the house and found odds and ends - and the rest was trial and error along the way.


Fabric

If you sew at all - or really if you don't (a rough version would work as well) this is a fun project for you and your young man.

I searched in my fabric remnants and found some that had the weight and color for my vision. If you'll notice, some depictions of St. Michael are very colorful and some are monochromatic - the choice is yours. I actually used the 'wrong' side of some fabric I had handy, to get the desired color and texture.


Construction


Next, cut a piece of fabric double the desired length of the tunic- this will depend on the size of your child. Then, fold it in half and lay child's t-shirt onto it to make a rough pattern - including attached short sleeves. Allowing for seams, mark with chalk and cut out.

Sew together at the shoulder and along the sides. If you desire a more finished look, fold over the edges of the neck and sleeves for a small hem.

Measure 5" from bottom and draw a horizontal chalk line to mark the fringed edges. Starting at the center bottom, I used a 1" wide ruler with a rounded edge to mark my cutting line, using a fine sharpie, and then cut on the lines - leaving a bit more at each side.

Accessorizing and Painting Fun

  • Chain Mail - Non-skid rug pad or rubberized shelf liner
  • Belt or fabric for sash
  • Sweats and long sleeved t-shirt
  • Helmet or hat 
  • Foam sword
  • Wings - Fan blades, woven wicker fan decorations, or cardboard and natural coffee filters. Will also need elastic to create a suspender type harness.
  • Cross - Glitter foam, washer, and chain.



Cut a hole out of the rug pad or shelf liner, to fit his head and rounded the corners. Viola! Chain mail for the warrior angel!

We used a belt and made a suspender-like system out of elastic to create a harness for wearing the wings.

Brown sweat pants and a neutral, long-sleeved t-shirt are a great choice for undergarments - he'll wear brown leather sandals when he goes out.

The helmet was from another time and was spray painted and then we glued a cross to the front. We made a halo with gold pipe cleaners and attached with a paper clip. The sword (made of foam) was purchased at Joanne's Fabrics and slightly spray painted at the hilt. There are also ways to make helmets out of cardboard on Pinterest.

The wings are actually blades from a broken decorative outdoor fan, but you could find woven fan decorations or use cardboard for wings as well. One of the ideas I saw on Pinterest was to use natural (brown) coffee filters stapled to cardboard wings. There are several ways to attach your St. Michael's wings. Use elastic, safety pins or wire coat hangers made into shoulder hooks - depending on the material.

The cross is cut out of yellow glitter foam, which can be purchased in sheets. We also made a cross for the sword and helmet. I hot glued a Popsicle stick to strengthen the cross and a washer to serve as a loop for the chain, onto the back of the cross. The chain can be purchased at hobby lobby.

You can also check out my Costumes and Dress-Up board on Pinterest for other inspirations.

That Burnished Look

I took the helmet, sword, tunic and chain mail outside and spray painted with a burnished bronze paint made to adhere to plastic. It was left over from painting children's plastic lawn chairs last summer - I hate those bright colors and this matches my patio furniture. Spraying an even coat isn't necessary because you want a worn look.

A Few Final Touches
The final costume is awesome!

I wanted to post this as soon as I could, so that it might be helpful to others who are looking for a St. Michael the Archangel costume. There will be some finishing touches added during the next few days. 

  • Shield - will probably be made of cardboard and painted with the same paint.
  • Halo - Simon insists he wants a halo, so I'll be making one with gold pipe cleaners, poking holes in his helmet and hot gluing it on.
  • Cross - using a sheet of red glittery foam, I'll make a cross for either his shield or the tunic. There might also be some glow in the dark effects added with puff paint with those capabilities.

NOTE

I'll be adding photos of the completed costume as they happen - please stay tuned.

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